Kuala Lumpur, 4 November 2019 – A humbling and inspiring experience during the acupuncture anatomy workshop at the Academy of Silent Mentor (SILENT MENTOR) that saw the teamwork between Chinese medicine practitioners and western medicine practitioners led to deeper discussions on a working relationship between the International Medical University (IMU) and the SILENT MENTOR. After six months of explorations, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the IMU and SILENT MENTOR that is fuelled by a mutual passion to contribute to the advancement of medical and healthcare treatments through research and exchange of knowledge and expertise. IMU has partnered with the SILENT MENTOR over the years for its medical students to develop essential skills in performing certain life-saving procedures on the silent mentors and more importantly the acquiring the soft skill component of ‘empathy’. Having introduced the IMU Master of Science (MSc) in Acupuncture in 2018, the first and only postgraduate Acupuncture programme available in Malaysia, students were also given the opportunity to learn from the silent mentors.
In his speech at the signing of the MoU, Dr Ranjit De Alwis, Head of the Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, expressed his appreciation to the SILENT MENTOR on the valuable learning experience gained from working with their team. The Acupuncture programme aims to equip medical and health professionals including Chinese medicine practitioners with the safe practises of acupuncture and scientific investigations in using acupuncture in an integrated environment; be it in surgical or pain management and other healthcare treatments. “This collaboration will allow us to train better qualified doctors and healthcare practitioners who will experience hands on procedures. This will build their confidence in treating real patients and ultimately contributing back to society by improving techniques and treatments for better care,” said Dr Alwis.
The Silent Mentor programme was launched in Malaysia in 2012 with Prof Chin Kin Fah as a founding director. He was also the Professor of Surgery in the Universiti Malaya. The progamme is a unique tool for medical education. Its vision is to make a difference to the provision of healthcare with the touch of humanism and liberal arts through the altruistic teachings of the Silent Mentors.
“In addition, the concurrent anatomy and basic surgical skills learning serves to contextualise and empower the students’ capacity to empathise with the donors and in addition, helps to bridge the divide between the hard sciences and soft humanities,” said Prof Chin. He also quoted Sir William Osler in his speech – “It is as important to know what kind of man has the disease, as it is to know what kind disease has the man”. The programme showed that the students who joined the programme had shown that their empathy levels increased over time, independent of the origin of their Universities – one of the intrinsic skills that defines a great doctor. Both institutions look forward to fostering closer tie for future development of their curriculum, in education, training and research.